Saturday 2 June 2012

Finally some photos from Pelee

I've got another trip in the works to head back to southwestern ON. I will probably leave tomorrow evening sometime and stay in the south for about 4 days. I have three main targets - Northern Bobwhite, Western Kingbird, and King Rail. My shots at all three are extremely rare, but hopefully I can find just one of those species! A Western Kingbird mated with an Eastern Kingbird and produced young (Central Kingbirds) at a site in Windsor. I will check it out to see if they have returned this year, but I'm not holding my breath. Northern Bobwhite are possibly extirpated from the wild in Ontario, though there may still be some on Walpole Island. And King Rails are few and very far between. I don't have any intel on any current locations, so I'll have to try lots of decent looking habitat and hopefully get lucky. Additionally, early June is still a fantastic time for rarities. A Snowy Plover showed up today in Conneaut, Ohio, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are more "megas" lurking around Lake Erie. The problem is, everybody is burnt out from the spring and few are out finding these rarities. I tend to think of late May/early June as prime rarity time, maybe even more so than the middle of May.

Before I ramble on too long I thought I should put up some photos from May, since I've finally gone through and edited a bunch!

May 2nd was a pretty decent day with lots of birds around. Actually, it may have been one of the better days of the spring! I grabbed a lot of record shots of common birds, such as this Lincoln's Sparrow.

Lincoln's Sparrow - Point Pelee National Park

May 3rd was a pretty good day as well with quite a few highlights. I took some time photographing the butterflies as it was a phenomenal spring for them.

Mourning Cloak - Point Pelee National Park

Variegated Fritillary was one species which was abnormally abundant this spring. Several hundred (!) were seen over the course of a week or so. It was a lifer for me!

Variegated Fritillary - Point Pelee National Park

American Snouts were also around in huge numbers for this early in the year...

American Snout - Point Pelee National Park

as were Little Yellows (Sulfurs)

Little Yellow - Point Pelee National Park

I did not spend a lot of time photographing warblers this spring because it takes a lot of time and patience! But on the afternoon of May 6 I ran into a nice pocket of them. The lighting was good, they were all down low, and with some pishing I photographed about 10 species in 15 minutes! (By the way, as of this spring pishing was illegal in Point Pelee NP. A rule that many of us were less than pleased with, since it does no harm to migrating birds)

Some of the highlights...

Northern Parula - Point Pelee National Park

Magnolia Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

Black-and-white Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

Chestnut-sided Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

Palm Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

Black-throated Green Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

Cape May Warbler - Point Pelee National Park

That's all for now. There are many more photos to come, including a whole series of "rarities" from throughout the spring.


Alvan Buckley said...

I love the butterfly shots!
I'll have to put some effort into photographing them as well.
Good luck with your 3 targets!

dwaynejava said...

Josh, amazing shots! The VF Butterfly is particularily nice. Funny you mentioned the Western Kingbird site. I stopped by this morning for just a few minutes and quickly scanned the area. I did not see any kingbirds, but I only walked along the traintracks for a few minutes. Good luck on your sw tour.-DM

Alan Wormington said...


Spishing is not illegal at Point Pelee. Its just someone with an agenda that has no basis. Can you just image getting some kind of ticket (which will never happen anyway), elect to go to court in Windsor, and the judge says "you were doing what?" and after ANY answer you give the judge will just laugh and throw it out of court!

Alan Wormington said...

I just entered both "spishing" and "pishing" in the search field of the Parks Canada website, and here is the exact phrase that popped up in reference to known links on the subject:


Alan Wormington said...

RED ALERT: I just received this message from the Park Superintendent of Point Pelee:

The following activities are now illegal at Point Pelee:

-- swearing
-- blowing your nose
-- peeing in the woods
-- farting
-- burping
-- pointing at birds
-- staring at park staff
-- telling jokes about park staff
-- telling other bad jokes (politically incorrect theme)
-- chasing butterflies with a camera
-- wearing bright clothing (especially pink)
-- thinking about spishing

Fred said...

They should get back to the " keep my job alive " program, and stop
screwing with the birders.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hester, glad you are enjoying the blog!